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Former Toronto police chief Mark Saunders to run as PC candidate

Click to play video: 'Mark Saunders running for Tories in upcoming provincial election' Mark Saunders running for Tories in upcoming provincial election
WATCH: Mark Saunders running for Tories in upcoming provincial election – Mar 22, 2022

Former Toronto police chief Mark Saunders will be running as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the provincial election.

The Ontario PC Party said he will be a candidate for the riding of Don Valley West.

Saunders was the Toronto police chief for five years before stepping down in 2020.

Read more: Ontario PCs have strong lead less than 3 months from election day: Ipsos poll

“There is no one I’d rather have on the ballot in Don Valley West than Mark,” PC Leader Doug Ford said in a statement Tuesday.

“Mark brings an incredible amount of experience serving with the Toronto Police Service for nearly four decades. I’m thrilled to have him join our team and have no doubt he’ll be an incredible voice at Queen’s Park.”

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In the statement, Saunders said he and Ford have “worked closely over the years” and added that he has “always admired his strong leadership.”

Read more: Former Toronto police chief Mark Saunders to be paid up to $171K per year as Ontario Place advisor

“This is a critical time in Ontario’s history as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic, and it is clear the Ontario PC Party has a strong plan to build a better future for our families and future generations to come, whether it’s investing in transit, building highways, strengthening our health care system, or supporting workers and cutting costs for Ontarians,” Saunders said.

“I look forward to knocking on doors and earning your support as MPP for Don Valley West.”

Click to play video: 'Ontario PCs have strong lead less than 3 months from election day: Ipsos poll' Ontario PCs have strong lead less than 3 months from election day: Ipsos poll
Ontario PCs have strong lead less than 3 months from election day: Ipsos poll – Mar 21, 2022

The Don Valley West riding has been held by former Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne since 2003. Stephanie Bowman is the Liberal candidate for the riding in the upcoming election, which is scheduled for June 2.

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